Comments: Necessary but not sufficient

I have considered Robert Cotton's proposals in the context of his blog from General Synod (6.07.12), to be found on his parish website. In this he makes clear his view that "traditional catholics" "are out of step with the nation and with their church" We are trapped, he tells us "in a Canute like position".
In his view we catholics are "fixated on church order" "rather than the quality of our discpleship". I regret that he has such a low view of the faithful ministry of many church communities from this tradition.
We are delighted that "the vast majority of people...want the catholic tradition to flourish", and therefore puzzled why that "vast majority" do not understand nor welcome our passion for catholic order and for the reunion of the catholic church, both eastern and western. We are not an irritating anachronism to be tolerated as long as we do not insist on proper safeguards for our theological beliefs.
So I fear option 4 or 5 will not do for me at least. I still fail to understand why my brethren, knowing our desire to remain within the Church of England, knowing that the consecration of women will happen soon, knowing that all we require is assurance in the legislation, will not give us this space we need.
So I hate to be a bore, but Clause 5(1)(c) please! This is known as the triumph of hope over experience!

Posted by Frank Nichols at Monday, 30 July 2012 at 7:06pm BST

I really appreciate Robert's analysis. Let's get away from legalism and act like followers of Christ - we are not under law but under grace. I am happy for Code of practice to enshrine safeguards but I would not want legislation to deal with the jot and tittles.

Posted by John Wallace at Monday, 30 July 2012 at 9:14pm BST

Useful. I believe the measure should shape the ecclesiology of our way forward, with the code of practice reserved for the pastoral details. There is a significant difference between law and guidelines, and we need to know what should go where.

Clause 5(1)(c) is bad ecclesiology because it makes it possible for small sections within the Church of England to exist in exclusive structures. If those opposed to women bishops want separate structures, it is a request too far: the idea of one church is more. Anglican ecclesiology gives much room for the coexistence of divergent practice and belief. However, it also requires that every section recognises the validity of every other section. All we hear is about accommodation, not ecclesiology.

My thoughts: http://christhum.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/the-way-forward-for-women-bishops/

Posted by Gareth Hughes at Wednesday, 1 August 2012 at 2:02am BST


There can be no accommodation that enshrines endemic discrimination against 50% of the human race. The fact that women are made in the same Image and Likeness of God as men should better inform our ecclesiology.

Other Anglican Churches around the world that have struggled to be relevant to our day and age have accepted the wisdom and sheer justice of the ordination of women to the priesthood and to the episcopate. Why should Mother Church (C.of E.) be any different?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 1 August 2012 at 9:52am BST
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